Cats and dogs on special occasions to loved ones

Pet ownership and gifts on the rise in Baqubah

BAQUBAH, February 2 — The city of Baqubah has witnessed a significant uptick in the adoption of cats and dogs, marking a shift in cultural attitudes towards pet ownership. Local pet shops are seeing a high demand for Persian and Himalayan cats, along with French Terriers and Lulu Fox dogs, as residents embrace the companionship of furry friends. Despite this growing trend, Chihuahuas remain a rare sight in the region.

This surge in pet adoption coincides with the emerging tradition of gifting pets among lovers and engaged couples, underscoring a deeper societal embrace of animal companionship. The once uncommon sight of pet owners walking their dogs has become a regular occurrence in Baqubah’s streets, with pet stores spreading across Saad bin Muadh Street, newer city sections, and the Khreisan area.

Hussein Ghassan, a pet shop owner in Baqubah, shared insights with 964media on this evolving trend. “A few years ago, the demand for cats and dogs was minimal. Now, owning a pet is seen as a sign of affluence and has become a favored pastime,” Ghassan noted. He highlighted the popularity of British, Persian, and Himalayan cat breeds, with Persian and Himalayan cats being top sellers.

Ghassan provided a glimpse into the market prices, revealing that a Persian cat’s price could range from 40 to 120 USD, with Himalayan cats commanding even higher prices of up to 150 and 200 USD. Meanwhile, Chinchilla and Scottish Fold cats are priced between 150 to 250 USD. The French Terrier and Lulu Fox dogs are particularly desirable, with their prices varying based on breed and characteristics. Despite their rarity in Diyala, Chihuahuas are available in Baghdad, with prices ranging from 500 to 4,000 USD.

The trend also sees a notable gender dynamic, with female pet enthusiasts showing a greater interest in pet ownership compared to their male counterparts. Some women have turned pet breeding into a profitable venture, earning between 100 and 200 USD by mating their female cats and selling the offspring or renting out high-quality male cats for breeding.